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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 358-361"

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358 Reviews of Books 

The History of South Carolina tender the Royal Government, 1719— 
1776. By Edward McCrady, President of the Historical Society 
of South Carolina. (New York : The Macmillan Co. 1899. 
Pp. xxviii, 847.) 

Prior to the issue of this volume the only histories of South Carolina 
which contained anything of importance relating to the period of royal 
government were those of Hewatt and Ramsay. Of these the former was 
published in 1779, the latter in 1809. Both of them purported to be 
general histories of the province from its settlement to or beyond the 
period of independence. Hewatt lived near the time of some of the 
events which he related, and is said to have derived a part of his infor- 
mation from Lieutenant-Governor Bull. Ramsay, so far as political his- 
tory is concerned, copied Hewatt though he also embodied in his work 
original material concerning ecclesiastical, medical, legal, fiscal, agricul- 
tural, and commercial affairs, natural history and literature. Hewatt de- 
voted to the period under review 277 pages. Of this nearly the whole 
was filled with matter relating to climate, topography, social life and cus- 
toms, Indian relations, military affairs, and events connected with the 
settlement of Georgia. Not enough space to make even a respectable 
sketch was devoted to the system of government, or to the internal polit- 
ical history of the province. No attention was paid to the development 
of legislation, to the conflicts between the executive and the legislature or 
between the upper and lower house, to the issues of paper money or to 
the land system. Hewatt did not have access to the archives from which 
he could have obtained information of this kind, and probably did not 
seek access to them. Ramsay devoted one chapter mainly to an account 
of the paper money, and gave a few disconnected facts about constitu- 
tional history, but his account of the agricultural system contains nothing 
of value to the student of institutions. Of the place and importance of the 
royal province in the system of British colonial government, of the special 
features of South Carolina as an example of a royal province, of the pecu- 
liar relations in which it stood toward the mother country, one will find 
only hints in these volumes, and those neither many nor very important. 
By noting thus the great defects of the older literature on the subject we 
shall the better be able to measure the excellence of Mr. McCrady' s 
volume and the service which he has rendered to the history of his state. 
The book consists of three somewhat distinct parts : the history of 
the period from its beginning to 1765; a series of seven chapters on 
the social conditions of the province at and before 1765 ; the history of 
the last decade of royal government. The chapters on social conditions 
contain much interesting and valuable matter relating to the merchants, 
physicians, bench and bar, schools and general social customs of the 
province. The choice of subjects treated here would seem to have been 
suggested by Ramsay, but the material presented is much more extensive 
and valuable. At the same time much that relates to social history is pre- 



McCrady : History of South Carolina 359 

sented in the other parts of the volume, as the observations on commer- 
cial growth, value of lands and development of the press in Chap. IX.; 
statements quoted at length from Governor Glen's letters in Chap. XIV.; 
a good deal of the material relating to the settlement of the upper coun- 
ties, to the negroes, to epidemics and other calamitous visitations to 
which reference is made in various parts of the volume. But a fatal defect 
in the author's treatment of the social side of his subject appears in the 
fact that he has devoted no systematic attention to the land system. In 
agricultural communities, like those existing in the American colonies, 
this is a matter of prime importance. Though Mr. McCrady has col- 
lected much material illustrating the social history of South Carolina in 
the eighteenth century, the reader will not find in his book an altogether 
clear picture of the type of society which existed there. The interaction 
between social and political development he does not seem to have fully 
considered. 

In tracing the political history of the period the author adheres 
strictly to the order of time. Wars with the Spanish and the Indians, 
the succession of governors, controversies between the different branches 
of the legislature, and finally the events which preceded the opening of 
the Revolution, are presented in chronological order, in a succession of 
chapters whose only headings are the dates which fix their limits. This 
fact, when taken in connection with the author's treatment of social his- 
tory, shows that he belongs to the same class of historians as his two 
predecessors, that he has not radically departed from their methods, 
though he has greatly surpassed them in the amount and value of the ma- 
terial which he presents. In his account of Indian relations he closely 
follows Hewatt, occasionally borrowing a succession of paragraphs with 
only slight verbal changes (pp. 75 and 102). One of the most thorough 
and satisfactory chapters in the book is that in which the history of 
Oglethorpe's expedition against St. Augustine in 1740 is given, the ma- 
terial for which is largely taken from a report of a committee of the 
general assembly of South Carolina on the expedition. The subject of 
the settlement of the upper parts of the province is treated in an interest- 
ing manner, but somewhat briefly. The superiority of this book to any 
which has preceded it appears most clearly in the treatment of the strug- 
gles, between the different components of the legislature. The contro- 
versy over the issue of paper money which continued at intervals from 
1724 to 1728; the conflict of 1733 over the claim of the lower house to 
the right to commit one who was not a member and detain him in prison 
in spite of a writ of habeas corpus ; the struggles of the two houses over 
the insistence of the council on its right to amend money bills, are ex- 
plained with considerable detail and in a fair and impartial spirit. Pre- 
sumably the author might have made his treatment of the constitutional 
history of the province more full, had he made greater use of the jour- 
nals of the two houses. But his references to these are few, and for his 
account of relations with the home government he apparently relies on 
vol. v. — 24 



360 Reviews of Books 

the calendars of documents in the Public Record Office relating to South 
Carolina, which were published years ago by the state historical society, 
rather than on the documents themselves, of which full copies exist at 
Columbia. But the student will find scattered through the volume a good 
deal of historical exposition, and of sound reasoning thereon, both of 
which relate directly to the royal province as an institution of govern- 
ment. 

Mr. McCrady treats the events which preceded the opening of the 
Revolution with an even and impartial hand. This is quite consistent with 
the attitude which he has maintained toward all the conflicting parties 
which have passed in review before him in the earlier periods of his history. 
After assuming a position in reference to the Stamp Act and the other 
more general issues of the period which is in substantial agreement with 
that held by Lecky, he dwells at some length on the measures adopted in 
support of Massachusetts, New York and Virginia subsequent to the pass- 
age of the Townshend Acts. Of these the most important in South Caro- 
lina was the non-importation agreement. A detailed account is given 
of the origin of this among the mechanics and merchants of Charles- 
ton, of the vehement opposition made to its enforcement by Dray- 
ton and others, and especially of the controversy over the matter in 
the Gazette. ' ' It was indeed a grave and serious question, ' ' says the 
author, "whether the colony of South Carolina had as yet received any 
such wrong at the hands of the mother-country as warranted this measure 
of non-importation. ' ' In connection with the history of this episode and 
of the beginning of the difficulties with the Regulators the author finds 
opportunity to draw an admirable character-sketch of William Henry 
Drayton. Another interesting fact suggested by Drayton's career is the 
change in the personnel of the Council. In the earlier years of royal 
government, natives of the province are said to have held the large major- 
ity of seats, but as the Revolution approached it had come to be filled 
mainly with placemen from England. It would be important to know 
if that were generally the case throughout the colonies. The rise of revo- 
lutionary government and the decline of royal power are traced till the 
close of the administration of Lieutenant-Governor Bull in June, 1775, 
and the arrival of his successor Lord William Campbell. At that point 
Mr. McCrady considers that royal government came to an end, and that 
Governor Campbell's efforts to recover the power which had been lost 
constitute a part of the history of the Revolution. This he reserves for 
future treatment. 

The reviewer has found but few errors in this volume and those of 
comparatively slight importance. In point of style he considers it su- 
perior to the author's first volume. For its thoroughness and breadth of 
view it is worthy of high praise. It is not specifically a study of a 
royal province as an institution, but a general history of the province 
during the period under review. As such, and when regarded scientific- 
ally, it is open to some criticism respecting the selection and arrange- 
ment of material. Had the author limited himself more strictly to the 



Hazard: Narragansett Friends' Meeting 361 

history of political development and to a study of social forces in their 
bearing upon that, he might have given the reader a clearer idea of the 
goal toward which events were tending. But the work is so excellent in 
itself, and is to such an extent superior to any of its predecessors, so far 
as they relate to the early eighteenth century, that the reader must heart- 
ily welcome it, and express the hope that Mr. McCrady will soon give to 
the public the result of his researches into the period of the Revolution. 

Herbert L. Osgood. 

The Narragansett Friends' Meeting in the XVIII. Century, with a 
chapter on Quaker Beginnings in Rhode Island. By Caroline 
Hazard. (Boston and New York : Houghton, Mifflin and Co. 
1899. Pp. vi, 189.) 

The distinguished President of Wellesley College has thrown an ar- 
row — not in Parthian malice, but in loyal affection — toward her native 
Narragansett, as she leaves its laurel groves for the hills of Massachusetts. 
The book is chiefly drawn from eight folio volumes of records belonging 
to the mens' meeting, with three volumes treating of the doings of the 
women, who were certainly an important constituent in the Friends' sys- 
tem of living. She does not tell us where the original records are de- 
posited. Besides this matter and the preliminary essay on early Rhode 
Island Quakerism, there is an interesting reprint of the Quaker's Sea 
Journal, Being a True Relation of a Voyage to New England, Performed 
by Robert Fowler of the Town of Burlington in Yorkshire, Anno i6jp. 
This tract was recently copied in the British Museum by Miss Hazard 
with her own hand. It is an account of the voyage of the first consider- 
able number of Quakers, and their vessel the Woodhouse which ran into 
the harbor of Rhode Island in the summer of 1657. 

The well-known story of Mary Dyer is treated at length. We are 
not to forget that there was an irreconcilable conflict. The Puritans 
drove out the Quakers, persecuting them according to the methods of 
the time, in obedience to a high motive, as they conceived it. Ecclesi- 
astical authority knew no toleration, except in the precincts of Roger 
Williams, and his influence did not extend far as yet. On the other 
hand, Mary Dyer went back voluntarily to her martyrdom. Our author 
well says, " She had tasted the glories of martyrdom, and could not rest 
till she was counted worthy to suffer to the end. If, in our modern 
spirit, we inquire what her husband and children said to her sacrifice not 
only of herself but of them, and the suffering and pain she brought them, 
her grave face, with its rapt expression, rises to rebuke us. This life 
was nothing, the next all, in those stern heroic times " (p. 38). 

As in every conflict of the spirit with material force, there was a bane 
and antidote, which could not be rendered in statement, nor controlled 
by statute. A woman was whipped at Weymouth. " After whipping, 
the woman kneeled down, and prayed the Lord to forgive those persecu- 
tors ; which so touched a woman that stood by, that she said, ' surely she 
could not have done this if it had not been by the spirit of the Lord.' "